The Thursday, October 29th Erie, PA Chapter Meeting Will Include:
12:00pm – 1:00pm "Managing a Community Think Tank: The Story of the Jefferson Educational Society" by Ben Speggen, VP of the Jefferson Education Society
Meeting Location: WebEx
What is the role of a community think tank? And how can such a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization drive progress as a platform for dialogue through programming, publications, and public policy that examine the past, observe the present, and explore the future?
Join Vice President Ben Speggen, as he reviews the mission, the history, and the vision of the Jefferson Educational Society. He’ll discuss the institution’s commitment to lifelong learning, its wide-array of publications, its Civic Leadership Academy, and other initiatives, including how the think tank is playing a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ben Speggen serves as the Vice President of the Jefferson Educational Society, where he drives the expansion of the think tank’s programmatic and public policy efforts. He guides the think tank’s scholars-in-residence initiative and spearheaded the launch of its Satellite Programming initiative. Additionally, he plans and execute the annual hallmark Global Summit speaker series with the JES team. He directed the think tank’s Civic Leadership Academy from 2016 to 2020, and currently produces and hosts the organization’s digital programming while also overseeing its publication division, editing a wide array of contributions ranging from timely reports to essays to books.
In March 2020, he co-authored with Bruce Katz, Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University, “Why Erie’s Downtown is a Proxy for the Nation: The Future of Main Street Businesses amidst the COVID-19 Crisis.” The report received national and international acclaim and was translated into Spanish and Portuguese.
He has presented at various conferences both nationally and locally, including on the impact of local media on shaping cities' narratives at the Tom Tom Festival's Hometown Summit in Charlottesville, Va. on the campus of the University of Virginia. Locally, he has presented on the topics of leadership and media.
Before joining the Jefferson team, he served as the founding Managing Editor for the Erie Reader, and helped develop marquee issues such as the 40 Under 40 and Best of Erie. Currently, he serves as a Contributing Editor for the Erie region’s local voice for news, arts, and culture, where he covers local,
state, and national politics and has had his reporting source by various organizations and publications including the Brookings Institution and The Atlantic.
As a Senior Editor at Ethos Copywriting, he edits industry-specific, conversion-focused content for digital and print media; manages creative direction for brand awareness projects; and develops and optimizes content-creation strategies by collaborating with content writers.
Prior, he taught writing, research, and literature in the English department at Gannon University, where he earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees, and hosted a public-affairs program for WQLN Public Media.
He serves as the Secretary on L’Arche Erie’s Board of Directors, as well as on the Erie County Poet Laureate Initiative committee, represents the JES on the Emerge 2040 Steering Committee, and is a Core Team Member for the city of Erie’s Better Together Council. Previously, he served on the board for the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania, and he is also a proud member of Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) and of the Erie chapter of the International Torch Club, and was the inaugural Program Facilitator of the Thomas B. Hagen Fellowship Program at Erie Insurance.
Outside of his professional time, he enjoys hiking and camping with his partner Michelle and their 11-year-old rescue pup, Remi, playing guitar, and writing the occasional poem or short story. He’s also been actively cooking his way through “One Pan to Rule Them All,” a cookbook specifically written for cast-iron enthusiasts like him.
|Event Date||10-29-2020 12:00 pm|
|Event End Date||10-29-2020 1:00 pm|
|Registration Start Date||10-16-2020|
|Cut off date||10-27-2020|